Urgent Prayer Request

http://www.notable-quotes.com/p/prayer_quote.jpg

Please add your prayers this morning for peace in Northern Iraq, for the hearts and minds of those walking in darkness (ISIS) to be transformed.

The Acts 12 Movement

This was sent in by one of our readers”

This is an urgent prayer request that was sent to me from Jews For Jesus. I have verified the information through sources. Please continue to pray for this situation until you hear that it has been stopped. I remember praying for ISIS from a post a few days ago.

please pass the
following URGENT prayer request along to everyone you can think of. This
is urgent news from Samaritans Purse. This was sent to me for prayer from
Chaplains with Rapid Response Team. Pray & pass to others.

Dear Friends,

Just a few minutes ago I received the following text message on my phone
from Sean Malone who leads Crisis Relief International (CRI). We then
spoke briefly on the phone and I assured him that we would share this
urgent prayer need with all of our contacts. “We lost the city…

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Are you a spiritual invalid?

Are you a spiritual invalid, or do you know someone who is? Lack of boundaries contributes to this problem: we can become confused about where our needs and values end and those of others begin. How can we tell if someone we are interacting with is a spiritual invalid? As it is written:

Matthew 7:16
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

For those who are interested, the following books by the Christian author Henry Cloud are wonderful and empowering, helping people to value themselves and others by the appropriate use of boundaries:

1. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life (see http://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-When-Take-Control-Your/dp/0310247454)
2. Safe People: How to Find Relationships That are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren’t (see http://www.amazon.com/Safe-People-Relationships-Avoid-Those/dp/0310210844/ref=pd_sim_b_3)

The following article casts much needed light on the phenomenon of spiritual invalids. Thank you to Rayola Kelley for the helpful insights.

http://www.gentleshepherd.com/articles/church/AreYouASpiritualInvalid.htm

A couple of months ago, I was thinking how a healthy person could become an invalid. I have met a few individuals who have chosen this type of physical route. As I considered the wasted life of such a person, I thought about Christians who end up becoming spiritual invalids in the kingdom of God.

The first point of consideration is why one would choose to become an invalid. Does it have to do with control and manipulation? Perhaps it is about getting attention or feeling special. Whatever the reason for wasting one’s life, Scriptures speak of a life totally contrary to invalidism. Spiritual invalidism involves one becoming inactive in his or her life before God. In a sense, it is like waiting for God to pour out all of the deserved benefits. This concept of a free ride without paying the price makes the Christian life self-serving and unrealistic.

The Word talks about running the race, maintaining the faith, fighting the battle, and finishing the course. It points out exercising unto godliness (1 Corinthians 9:24; 1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:7-8). As individuals study the Scriptures, they have to realize that the Christian life is anything but inactive. Spiritual inaction is nothing more than unbelief and disobedience in action which causes spiritual atrophy or complacency towards the things of God.

The Word clearly speaks of victory that must be won. Overcoming enemies is not an option, but a must if one is to enjoy the fruits of the kingdom of God (1 John 5:4-5; Revelation 2-3). God has provided the tools to overcome. However, in spite of God’s incredible Word and powerful tools, some Christians still insist on becoming spiritual invalids. Such individuals refuse to partake of the Word for themselves as they depend on others to spoon-feed them. Faith becomes an intellectual concept or method that blinds them to personal unbelief and disobedience. They use prayer for self-serving reasons, often resulting in skepticism because God appears to remain silent. They either ignore the Holy Spirit or they allow a counterfeit spirit to replace Him as a means to control their world. They either mock spirituality or use it as a door to operate on a level of spiritual elitism and delusion. The results are always the same. They refuse to take personal responsibility for the status of their spiritual life. These spiritual invalids come across as the helpless victim, while judging God and others for the failure in their personal lives.

What creates spiritual invalids? An invalid in the spiritual realm points to weakness due to the absence of a proper foundation. After considering those who resort to this physical state without reason, I believe it goes deeper than just an absence of a foundation. Spiritual invalidism is absence of character. Any time you deal with the character of a person, you will have to confront his or her disposition. Therefore, a spiritual invalid has something amiss in his or her disposition. It is a weakness that has not been honestly confronted through repentance or effectively dealt with by the Word of God and obedience to it.

The following is my observation as to the ingredients that will cause a physical or spiritual invalid in disposition. The two main motivations behind this type of condition are fear or resignation. Both fear and resignation are self-centered. The more a person gives in to these two culprits, the more life becomes overwhelming. Eventually, these two stifling factors cause a person to retreat from reality, declaring that life as unfair, too frightening or hopeless in its present state. Therefore, the person resigns self to a world of depression, fantasy or a small controllable world no bigger than a tomb.

Life is unfair to everyone, but it is especially hard on man’s different forms of pride. Pride strives to be an exception rather than the rule. It sees itself as superior and deserving of honor. It wants to believe that its circumstances or burdens are far worse than they are. This will earn the individual the right to be treated according to personal opinions or preference. Pride always becomes offended when life does not exalt it. It becomes hopeless as life challenges its imperfections and faulty claims to reveal failure, rejection and incompetence causing it to lose control. In fact, life on earth is a test to see whether a person will choose life that only comes by way of God or the ways of pride that lead to death, the path of least resistance.

The foundation under the path of death is made up of lies; therefore, it allows for the compromises and excuses of pride. It feeds and clings to the concept that life is unfair. As the individual gives in to this arrogant claim, self-pity begins to consume the person’s disposition. This self-pity feeds various vain imaginations that operate without hindrance, always giving way to the rights of pride.

Rights cause a person to consider how he or she must be treated in his or her incapacitated condition. As the individual continues to give in to various excuses for his or her condition, rights begin to put demands on others. Personal irresponsibility and complacency brought on this condition, but now others are burdened with the responsibility to serve the person in this state, or they are deemed unchristian and uncaring as they fall into the trap of guilt. Those who do care are often taken advantage of as their kindness is never considered sacrificial, but a responsibility.

Another ingredient of spiritual invalidism is ingratitude. Self-pity also serves as a manifestation of ingratitude. Self-pity declares that the person is feeling sorry for self because he or she has not received the desired results. The person’s tears are not for personal sin, but because the insidious game has been uncovered. Now that the game has been exposed, all that is left is repentance. True repentance is an enemy of invalidism. Therefore, rebellion begins to act out to confuse the issues in order to get its way. Tears are part of the game as they often throw unsuspecting people into confusion about the insidious ingratitude that is behind much of it.

The final element to spiritual invalidism is laziness. Galatians 6:4-5 states: “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” The Word tells believers to wake up and arise. However, those who glory in personal spiritual invalidism will find various excuses and justifications as to why they can’t get up and do what is right and necessary (Ephesians 5:14-17; 2 Timothy 1:6; 2 Peter 1:13). They will always see themselves as the victim, rather than the thief who abuses the gift of life and the kindness of others.

As you study the different ingredients in the disposition of a spiritual invalid, you can see where this type of individual simply gives in to the works and ways of the flesh. He or she will refuse to stir self up to pursue God’s perspective, Spirit and will in a matter. Eventually, this person will give in to lies and pride, rather than choose the ways of life and righteousness and walk these out by obedient faith.

Sadly, these people become leeches that end up robbing others of valuable time and resources. These people never see what a stench they become to God and those who see through the games. People will resist their pride, avoid their self-pity, and become disgusted at their excuses as to why they have become and remain an invalid in the kingdom of God. In the end, such people become a dead weight too great to bear.

My prayer is that if any reader fits this scenario that he or she will see the errors of his or her way. The ingredients that make up spiritual invalidism definitely fit in the hall of fame for the most accepted sins. However, these sins are unacceptable to God and will bring judgment in due time.

You may know someone who fits this description. If so, restrain from enabling him or her. This will put you in a bad light, but truly seek God’s will and perspective about such a person. As long as you enable a person who maintains the disposition of an invalid, he or she can remain so. Ask the Lord to give this person a love for the truth and a consuming desire to please God. Then challenge the person by not playing his or her games.

Stand strong in the Lord spiritually

I confess that this article is just as much self-help as it is written to benefit others. Much of the information in it was taken from the following biblically sound, ever-encouraging website http://www.gotquestions.org:

http://www.gotquestions.org/spiritual-warfare.html

A few nights ago I had a nightmare that made me awaken disturbed and shaking. In it, demons persecuted me mercilessly. They then attempted to drown a man in my dream who was helping me. Unfortunately I tried to save the man using my own power – which turned out to be woefully inadequate – not the Lord’s.

So how do we stand against the forces of darkness? What tools has the Kingdom of Light given us to deal with them effectively? Ephesians 6:10-12 outlines the spiritual armour God has kindly provided to His followers. The first thing to note is that in dealing with evil, we must stand in God’s might, not our own. Even Michael the archangel in Jude 9 did not rebuke Satan in his own power, but said, “The Lord rebuke thee!” He rebuked Satan in God’s name and authority, not his own.

It is only through our relationship with Jesus Christ that Christians have any authority over Satan and his demons. It is only in His name that our rebuke has any power. As it is written:

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (ie. the belief in – and confession of – Jesus as the Son of God) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

Ephesians 6:13-18 gives a description of the spiritual armour God gives us. We are to stand firm with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation (assurance), the Sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God), and by praying in the Spirit.

What do these pieces of spiritual armour represent in spiritual warfare? We are to speak the truth against Satan’s lies. We are to rest in the fact that we are declared righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice for us. We are to proclaim the gospel no matter how much resistance we receive. We are not to waver in our faith, no matter how strongly we are attacked. Our ultimate defence is the assurance we have of salvation, an assurance that no spiritual force can take away. Our offensive weapon is the Word of God, not our own opinions and feelings. We are to follow Jesus’ example in recognising that some spiritual victories are only possible through prayer.

Jesus is our ultimate example for spiritual warfare. In Matthew 4:1-11 each temptation was answered in the same way – with the words “it is written.” Jesus knew the Word of the living God is the most powerful weapon against the temptations of the devil. If Jesus Himself used the Word to counter the devil, do we dare to use anything less?

The ultimate example of how NOT to engage in spiritual warfare is the seven sons of Sceva (Acts 19:13-16). They were not relying on Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and they were not employing the Word of God in their spiritual warfare. As a result, they received a humiliating beating. May we learn from their bad example and conduct spiritual warfare as the Bible instructs.

Keep your heart with all diligence – fasting & prayer

The Spirit of Truth brought several Holy Scripture passages to mind this morning, reminding me that all who call upon Him must stay upon their God:

Isaiah 50:10
Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.

The scriptures He brought to mind concern man’s heart, which we know from honest self-examination and Jeremiah 17:9 to be as follows:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

And:

Isaiah 44:20
He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

We are furthermore instructed by God in Proverbs 4:23 to:

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

How are we to do this? What gets in the way of loving God and your neighbour with ALL your heart, mind, soul and strength, as we are commanded to do (see Matthew 22:37-40, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27…this commandment is so critical that it appears in not one but three gospel testimonies).

I know from experience it is possible to not have your heart right with God: many worldly things tempt it and can obstruct the light of Christ. For example, it is known that man has 4 main appetites:

1. An appetite for Godly or spiritual things
2. An appetite for food
3. An appetite for reproductive matters
4. An appetite for worldly things that appeal to the self: “the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16).

Fasting and prayer is the great remedy for appetites 2 to 4 to be greatly diminished, thereby increasing your spiritual strength and faith. As per a section of an article I have reproduced from the following url:

http://www.revival-library.org/catalogues/miscellanies/prayer/hallfranklin.html

We read that “Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” And the very next sentence tells us that He fasted. Why did He fast at the very time He was being tempted? For we read in Luke’s Gospel that He was “forty days tempted,” and in those same forty days “He did eat nothing.” What is the connection between temptation and fasting? Is it not that fasting is the mightiest possible preparation of soul, to ensure victory over temptation? And would we not do well to follow our Lord’s example, and avail ourselves of this mighty weapon with which to meet and overcome him “who goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”?

We are not told in Matthew, chapter four, the reason for His fast. But in Matthew, chapter seventeen, Jesus explains it. Before this time His disciples were not able to bear this teaching. The great revelation of why He fasted was shown when He healed this lunatic boy, and answered the question that the disciples had asked Him: “Why could not we cast him out?” Matt. 17:19.

Please remember that Christ, as well as being God, was also in the flesh as man.

It seemed that the disciples had become a reproach, or disgrace to Christ, because they could not heal this individual. They apparently were ashamed of themselves so they came to Jesus secretly, to ask of Him the reason why they were not able to cast out the demons. Then the secret of Jesus’ fast was revealed, and He showed to them and to us what “Super-Atomic Power” one can have. Anyone can have that power, thank the Lord. All can have it that will follow the instructions given by Him, and plainly taught throughout the Bible. “Have Faith as a grain of mustard seed . . . and nothing shall be impossible unto you . . . by prayer and fasting.” Matt. 17:20, 21.

The disciples were helpless. No one could give help in this major prayer problem except One. That Person had fasted forty days and forty nights, and He was the only one in the midst who had so fasted. Praise His name!

However, Jesus clearly shows that anyone who had had a prayer and fasting experience could cast out the evil spirit, for He says, “This kind cometh out by prayer and fasting.” Our Lord teaches here the big difference between prayer alone, and prayer, combined with fasting.

In that momentous struggle of forty days of fasting JESUS had AVAILED HIMSELF OF THE MOST POWERFUL AID AT HIS DISPOSAL. Jesus fasted in order to secure His perfect faith from His humanity side, and He urged fasting upon His disciples to remedy their weak faith. He declared that they would fast, using the words, “Then will they fast,” and gave directions in Matthew chapter six, which are intended to ensure to all of His followers the same benefits of fasting which He obtained. The disuse of fasting is in direct opposition to the practice, example, and the teaching, of Christ.

There is no record of Christ healing the sick, or performing any miracle, until after he had fasted forty days and forty nights. After this mighty fast, and not before, He was fully equipped, capable, and prepared for any and all emergencies. At this moment, how much Faith have you at your disposal, to meet any obstacle?

Should you wait until the Lord lays a fasting burden on you?
No, not necessarily, for the simple reason that if we waited for God to lay a fasting burden upon us, there probably would be no fasting or very little. Fasting is like praying. We pray when there is a need, without waiting for a burden of prayer. We should also fast when there is a need, and because it is our Christian duty. In Mark 2:20, Jesus has already laid a fast upon us in these words, “Then shall they fast in those days.”

My testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, who has the power and wisdom of God

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

I have testified on this website that I have suffered from demonic attacks since 2004. Shortly after the attacks began, I had two strange experiences, on two separate occasions, that I wanted to recount here for the edification and comfort of others. I am certain I am not the only person on earth who has been afflicted with demons, so wanted to offer what hope and consolation I can at this point in time to others. At any rate, the experiences both occurred during dreams.

In the first, I partially awoke to a demon attempting to pull something invisible out of the centre of my chest, right over my heart. Though there was a pleasant sensation to what he was doing, I knew that it was wrong spiritually so spoke up immediately. I said, “No, stop!” The fallen one asked, “Why?” To which I replied, steadfastly, “Because I don’t want to be open to ANYTHING.”

At this moment the demon was blown back away from me, as though by a mighty wind. I was astonished to witness this in my dream and knew without a doubt that God had honoured my decision to keep protecting my heart spiritually. This was what I wanted to make people understand and be comforted by: that God is merciful, has unlimited power over demons, and will honour our spiritual decisions.

The second incident I wanted to talk about occurred a few months later (to the best of my recollection), while I was struggling to find my childhood faith in the Lord Jesus Christ again. I was, again, being harassed by demons in my dreams when, suddenly, a calm and familiar male voice spoke from behind me. I couldn’t see who spoke but I remember his words. He simply said, “Make the sign of the cross.” I suddenly felt empowered or inspired spiritually within my dream and found myself saying, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost” while crossing myself.

Again, to my awestruck eyes, I saw ALL the demons blown backwards into the distance as though struck by a tornado. I am 100% convinced the Person who spoke was the Lord Jesus, who saves to the uttermost those who call upon Him in faith (Hebrews 7:25).

Some Holy Scripture passages glorifying Christ and His power that seem pertinent to the above testimony:

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:24
But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

The Listeners by Walter de la Mare

I believe that walking in the Spirit is preparatory to coming to Christ.

You must at least believe there is a spiritual realm that has pre-
eminence over the physical one in order to even embark on the long rugged road that leads to the Lord’s waiting arms.

Below is a poem that stirred up my spirit during my lifetime, before I came to Christ. I’ve included it here, with a brief note on how it relates to the Gospel of Christ, as others may find this interesting or helpful. If you’d like to message me with your own notes on what helped lead you to the Lord Jesus Christ during your lifetime, please feel free to do so.

THE LISTENERS by Walter de la Mare

“Is there anybody there?” said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grass
Of the forest’s ferny floor;
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head:
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
“Is there anybody there?” he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
‘Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:–
“Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,” he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.

My notes:
The above stirs my spirit mostly because of the poignancy and loneliness of the Traveller, who alone is living and faithful in the country he journeys to. No-one responds to his call yet he remains true, delivering his message as promised, though only the dead hear him.

The above can be seen in Christ too, who is ever called Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11). Christ also tells us that he is always waiting for us (the spiritually dead here on earth) to answer his call to redemption: “behold, I stand at the door and knock…” (Rev. 3:20).

Christ was also known as the “man of sorrows” as most people on earth rejected his message of hope…so in truth both he and his disciples could identify with the lonely Traveller in Walter de la Mare’s poem:

Isaiah 53:3
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

At any rate, I think the poem is a beautiful call to true faith, to keeping one’s word, even when all seems lost, and it speaks to my heart.

So I’ve included it here for you to read too.